Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Clinical Research Oriented Workshop (CROW) Meeting: July 26, 2012

Present: Kristi Johnson, Rodger Kessler, Connie van Eeghen

1.                  Start Up:  What is our level of “I” in the FINER evaluation of this toolkit?  As it turns out, really very high.  So on with the toolkit!

2.                  Presentation: Connie and Rodger’s R03 Critique  - Aims and Approach
a.       We debated the value of two Aim statements vs. three.  Aims 2 and 3 are currently both about measurement; we decided that it will be simpler for the reader to have just one aim about measurement, with two sub-parts.
b.      Whether to select, as a primary outcome, one mental health screening score or a general statement about improving mental health status overall was hotly (well, maybe warmly) debated.  One screening score doesn’t cover the breadth of what Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) services provide, but it does make it easier to understand how we will evaluate the study.  TBC
c.       Reviewers questioned the significance of a toolkit relative to outcomes of care.  Rodger will further research sources that provide supporting theoretical constructs and results.
d.      One of the innovations proposed by the study is the use of a mixed methods approach, which one reviewer criticized as “not highly innovative or under-specified.”  The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, however, published a “best practices” guide specifically intended for NIH investigators to develop and evaluate mixed methods research applications.  There are few studies published in this field using this method and our belief is that we are relatively early as researchers using this approach.  Whether this is really an innovation or an area where the field is simply catching up is still open for discussion. 
e.       The method of approaching the second aim, measurement, is also a work in progress.  If we use one screening measure (such as the PHQ) as the primary outcome, then we can conduct a t test for paired samples, and we can adjust those samples as clusters (by practice) using the intra-class correlation coefficient as developed by Donner using Ben’s data from the VDIS study.  This can be described as one measure to answer the question “Does the toolkit work?” and there can be many other measures that will help us do this as well.  Patients will be compared to themselves at three points in time.  We could also run other comparisons, such as comparing patients in the practice with positive scores who didn’t receive PCBH services, but it is not clear if adding more examples of analysis to the Approach section strengthens the application or makes it more confusing. 
f.       The group agreed that there is a balance between making the application as comprehensive, and therefore scientifically interesting, as possible and making it as streamlined as possible, thereby making it more accessible to the reviewers who will be our “advocates” during the larger section meeting.  This is a debate that we can continue to have for a while.  Next step: new draft for Rodger and Connie to work on.

3.                  Workshop Goals for 2012:
a.       Journal club: identify UVM guests and articles; invite to CROW ahead of time
b.      Research updates: share work-in-process

4.                  Next Workshop Meeting(s): Thursday, 11:00 p.m. – 12:00 p.m., at Given Courtyard Level 4. 
a.       Aug 2: Abby – “How we picked the predictive model for the NAS article”
b.      Aug 9: (no Abby)
c.       Aug 16: Kairn – review of draft article on IRR (no Abby)
d.      Aug 23:
e.       Aug 30: (new schedule?)
f.       Future agenda to consider:
                                                  i.      Ben: budgeting exercise for grant applications
                                                ii.      Journal Club: “Methods and metrics challenges of delivery-system research,” Alexander and Hearld, March 2012 (for later in the year?).  UVM authors who have published interesting design articles (Kim, Osler)
                                              iii.      Rodger: Mixed methods article; article on Behavior’s Influence on Medical Conditions (unpublished); drug company funding.  Also: discuss design for PCBH clinical and cost research.
                                              iv.      Amanda: presentation and interpretation of data in articles
                                                v.      Sharon Henry: article by Cleland, Thoracic Spine Manipulation, Physical Therapy 2007

Recorder: Connie van Eeghen

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